$3,000,000 Drug Bust

"The estimated street value of this cocaine is in excess of $3,000,000."

Lauderdale County Sheriff Billy Sollie is talking about these 25 bundles of powdered cocaine that were confiscated during a routine traffic stop around 10:30 Friday night.

"We don't believe this was being delivered to Lauderdale County or the East Mississippi area."

Instead, Sheriff Sollie says the suspect was thought to be traveling through the area when he was pulled over on I-20/59 East heading outside Meridian. Investigators say a drug sniffing dog located the cocaine.

The drugs were found in secret compartments at the back of the car behind the bump and underneath the tail lights. The packages were found crammed into a space in that area.

"They took a trunk out of another vehicle exactly the same as this one," says Major Steve Spears with the East Mississippi Drug Task Force, "they put it over the top of this one and molded it back together which gave a compartment about five inches thick. It runs the whole length of the trunk."

Arrested in the case is 25-year-old Rodriguez Cortez of East Chicago, Indiana. At the time of the stop he was traveling alone. He's now being held in the Lauderdale County jail where he could face federal charges and at least up to 30 years in prison.


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